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Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Official Press Release from BLM: Antelope Complex Gather

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on January 21, 2011

BLM Nevada News
FOR RELEASE:  Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011
CONTACT:  Lesli Coakley, (775) 753-0386;

BLM to begin Antelope Complex Gather, Schedules Public Observation Days

ELKO, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Elko District, Wells Field Office and BLM Ely District, Schell Field Office will initiate the Antelope Herd Management Area (HMA) Wild Horse Gather on or about Monday, January 24, 2011, to gather and remove approximately 1,917 to 2,278 excess wild horses from in and around the Antelope Complex.  The gather has been delayed due to ongoing operations with Battle Mountain District’s Callaghan Wild Horse Gather.
The Antelope complex is located approximately 60 miles south of Wells, Nev. and consists of the Antelope Herd Management Area (HMA) which is managed by the Ely District, Schell Field Office and the Antelope Valley, Goshute, and Spruce-Pequop HMAs which are managed by the Elko District, Wells Field Office.
Any horses gathered above targeted removal numbers will be released back to the HMAs so that the remaining population is within appropriate management level (AML).  The AML for the Antelope Complex is 427-788 wild horses.
Any gathered mares released back to the range will be vaccinated with PZP-22 (Porcine Zona Pellucida) fertility control vaccine. Additionally, sex ratios of gathered animals to be returned to the HMAs may be adjusted to achieve an approximately 60 percent male/40 percent female ratio.
There will be no closure of the public lands and therefore, public lands within the HMAs will be open to the public during the gather operations, subject to necessary safety restrictions.  The BLM has established protocols for visitors to ensure the overall safety of the public, the BLM and gather contract staff and the animals.  The protocols are available at The BLM has tentatively scheduled observation days on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the duration of the gather to provide the media and public opportunities to view gather activities.  The first observation day is scheduled for January 27.  The dates are subject to change depending upon weather and gather operations.  A Wild Horse Gather Information Line has been set up at 775-753-0227 where the public can listen to a recorded message with information on daily gather activities and updated gather schedules.
Scheduled observation days provide visitors more opportunity to interact with BLM staff and will include escorted opportunities to observe the animals at the gather and holding corrals.
Credentialed media and visitors are encouraged to sign up prior to arriving by calling Lesli Coakley, BLM Elko District public affairs specialist, at (775) 753-0386, or email to  The BLM will also regularly post gather information on its website at: and on the hotline number.
The BLM also coordinates closely with the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s (NDOA) Brands Division to provide Brand Inspectors during wild horse removal efforts across the state.  NDOA brand inspectors must confirm that the animals are not domestic horses.  Once verified, the Brand Inspector will provide the BLM a certificate to transport the animals.  The NDOA also may take jurisdiction of any estray, branded or abandoned domestic horse(s) under the State of Nevada estray laws.
The BLM uses a Federal gather contractor to gather wild horses from HMAs where the BLM has determined that excess animals exist.  The contractor uses a helicopter to locate and herd horses towards a set of corrals where the horses are gathered.  The helicopter is assisted by a ground crew and the use of a Prada, a domesticated horse, to move the excess horses into the corrals. The use of helicopters and motorized vehicles has proven to be a safe, effective, and practical means for the gather and removal of excess wild horses and burros from the range.
The gathered animals will be transported to either the Salt Lake City Facility, Gunnison Correctional Facility in Gunnison, Utah, Palomino Valley Center near Reno, Nev., or the Indian Lakes Road Facility in Fallon, Nev. where they will be prepared for the BLM adoption program.  Un-adopted horses will be placed in long-term pastures where they will be humanely cared for and retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.  The BLM does not sell or send any horses to slaughter.
The Antelope Complex gather and impacts are described and analyzed in the Final EA, which is available online at  Click on the Elko District map and then click on the EA listed “In the Spotlight.” The BLM will also provide updates and information at the same Web address on a regular basis throughout the course of the gather.
For more information, contact Lesli Coakley, BLM Elko District public affairs specialist, at (775) 753-0386 or by email at

Lesli J. Coakley
Public Affairs Specialist
Elko District Office
Bureau of Land Management
(775) 753-0386, c (775) 388-1101


5 Responses to “Official Press Release from BLM: Antelope Complex Gather”

  1. Jan said

    are they sure there are that many horses – has blm done actual body count – bothers me that they believe that many horses have to be removed – arent most mares pregnant now – will we have same repercussions as what happened at calico last year at this time – cant this roundup be postponed – makes me mad and sick

  2. Marybeth said

    According to the Antelope Complex’s Environmental Assessment, BLM had estimated a population of 2,086 wild horses. This figure included a projected 20-percent birth rate or 348 foals of 2010. However, AMLs are not supposed to include foals, so the methodology was wrong and the horses’ interests, disadvantaged thereby. The actual count was presumably 1,738 adults + 348 projected foals = 2,086. In the EA, BLM announced that it would round up 1,773 and remove up to 1,659 of them. The numbers cited in this press release are higher than the total herd population, which was probably an inflated count due to the inventory method used (overflight), the many look-alike “Nevada Browns,” and the probability of the count including “rock horses.” BLM is decimating the species from its home range. The PZP will probably sterilize many of the few mares to be left. It will be virtually impossible to verify the damage done.

  3. jan eaker said

    Just read that BLM has rejected Madeliene Pickens’ sanctuary plan, so this tragedy will continue for these horses. It is inhumane beyond belief.

  4. public observation my BLM Burro!
    What a bunch of hooey. THe gather starts on the 24th but people cannot watch until the 27th under BLM “protocol”?

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